Marks Perspective (part 4 of 4)

I am so excited to share my part of the story that God has given us. I think Maddie did a fantastic job in the first three sections and I’m excited to close this series out by sharing a few of the things that God taught me through our relationship!

There are so many things that God has taught me and is continuing to teach me through our relationship. As I look back I see so many things that I failed at, so many things I wish I would have done better. But I am so thankful for the grace that God showed me and the grace Maddie showed me and the grace they both continue to show me.

While its hard to boil it down to just a couple of things, I’ve chosen a couple of things that God really taught me through the ups and our downs of my relationship with Maddie. He taught me how to love and he taught me how to forgive. Simple things I know, but I’m a simple guy.

The first thing that God really started to teach me was how to love the way that he defines love. God wants us to understand that love is based on a choice and an undying commitment regardless of surrounding circumstances. Now this is not easy to do. We all have times where we screw this up, I know I did many times. But what is so cool about God’s love is that it is perfect, he never stops loving no matter what. This was something God started to teach me through our ups and downs, but especially in the downs. There were many very difficult situations in my relationship with Maddie over the years. If you remember from her posts she talked about her past and what went into her decision to break up with me a few times. The difficult thing for me was I didn’t know all those things. From my perspective I saw a beautiful girl who I loved hanging out with. One who I could talk to for hours and it felt like minutes. I saw a girl which an incredible love in her heart for other people, the kind of girl I could see myself marrying. This is what I saw when we dated, and she told me how much she liked me too. But being broken up with is difficult, even heartbreaking (for both people), and being broken up with multiple times by the same person was even harder. It was very difficult for me to understand how one day Maddie would love hanging out with me, and the next day she didn’t want to be around me.

This is where God really started to teach me how to love. I had to learn how to love her when we weren’t together. I had to make a decision to stay committed to Maddie even when she did not want to commit to me. Was it easy in those times to want to love her when she was with other guys and there was no love coming back? No. Was I perfect at loving her in those times? Absolutely not. But God taught me so much about learning to love her when everyone told me I shouldn’t. He gave me a glimpse of the love it takes for him to love us when we say how much we love him, and then contradict that with our actions.

Going hand in hand with learning how to love was learning how to forgive. We went through some pretty hurtful situations over the years and said some pretty hurtful things to each other. It was very hard for me to watch her date different guys in between me. It wasn’t easy for me as Maddie slowly opened up to hear about some of the things she had been through. I’ll be honest, writing this blog brings up a lot of painful memories for both us. Learning forgiveness is something God definitely needed to teach both of us.

For me the thing that God continued to tell me over and over again as we went through difficult situations was to keep things in perspective. He constantly reminded me that he died for me so that I could have a relationship with him. When I remembered that, and knowing I didn’t deserve that kind of love and that kind of forgiveness, no matter how bad my heart was breaking, it was impossible not to forgive her because I knew the forgiveness shown to me by God was SO much greater.

But in spite of all of the pain and all the heartbreak in our past I wouldn’t change it if I had a second chance. Yes of course I would change the things that I did to hurt Maddie, but in terms of the things we went through I wouldn’t ask God for anything different. Through those difficult years I learned so much about God’s love and God’s forgiveness, and getting just the tiniest glimpse of the depth of the love it takes for him to love me, in all my failure and imperfection was incredible. It brought me so close to God and gave me a whole new level of love for God and for what he has done for me.

I also wouldn’t change things, because through all of the ups and downs, I got want I wanted...I am getting married to the only girl that I’ve ever been able to see myself marrying and for that I thank God every day.

I also want to thank each of you so much for following us on this journey through our blog. We hope that through our story you were encouraged and or challenged and hopefully saw that God was in the centre of all of this. He is reason we live and as much as we love each other, we love him more! And if you haven’t already, we hope that you would accept his love, he wants to love you so badly, but you have to let him.



It's a love story baby just say yes

*disclaimer… if you normally cringe and gag at romantic things, this blog probably isn’t one for you to read. Even if you’ve only met me a handful of times you would have experienced my intense love for romance & because it was my night Mark went all out...don't say I didn't warn you:)

This past October Mark and I were praying one night for God to use us as a couple. We didn’t want to wait to be more mature, married or have kids to be used together by God - we wanted God to use us where we are. He planted the idea in our minds of blogging our love story and as complicated and messed up as it is He asked us to do it. It was such a hard task that God gave us especially for me. However each time I asked God if this was actually something He wanted me to do, He reassured me without a shadow of a doubt. & then when I posted  part 1 it received over three thousand hits. This blog series has accumulated over eight thousand hits so I feel that it’s only right we share the proposal story with you since you’ve been following our story (and lets be real... I have no problem writing it!)

I knew before I left for Africa that I wanted to marry Mark. But it would take time. When I came home from Africa and hung out with Mark I just knew. No, we didn’t need to have a conversation about marriage because nothing more needed to be said. We both loved each other with such an intense and deep love and we were committed. We didn’t need to get to know each other more, figure out if we got along with each others families… all the “logistical” stuff had been taken care of the first three times. 

Mark’s always said he wanted to marry me for the past three years and I even have notes he’s written me to prove that! So he’s been patiently waiting ever since….

After Mark spoke with my parents and ordered the ring (I designed this ring when I was 17 and Mark made my dream a reality...its so much more beautiful then I ever imagined...it's a conflict free diamond and its tension set.. so no claws around the diamond)  Mark set out to plan the perfect proposal for us. Mark knows me better than I know myself (corny- but SO true) but I was still a tad bit worried about getting engaged. You see, I’ve been reading wedding magazines faithfully since the age of ten. I have countless inspiration boards on construction paper when I was little… way before pinterest was ever thought of! I have magazines full of wedding ideas and proposal stories and as sad as I am to admit this I’ve been reading wedding blogs since the beginning of high school.  You only get one proposal… one wedding and after fifteen years of planning I had a few expectations….

I can hundred percent say (or type this) that Mark exceeded every single last expectation. He went above and beyond all the stories I’ve read… it was the most perfect night for both of us and I am so giddy and so full of joy just thinking about it!

Okay okay details!! They are coming!! So Mark and I talked about getting married so I knew a proposal was coming in the near future… however, I had no idea of the exact date. Mark and I only see each other on the weekends and I work every Saturday/Sunday faithfully so I thought I would know when something big would happen… so I thought. I was schedule to work at 5pm on January 19 and I had an apt an hour away in the morning to attend.  When I arrived at home there was a present for me on the table in a silver bag. When I opened it there was a lovely Cinderella carriage trinket. I’ve always imagined getting proposed in a carriage so Mark decided to play up even the small details. We are getting the back license plate engraved with our wedding date on it and I’m sure it will sit on my dresser forever! He is so thoughtful. Inside the carriage there was a usb stick with a video of Mark explaining what to do next. He told me he got me off work for the evening and that he was picking me up at 6:45 and I needed to be ready. In his video he told me “relax and take time enjoying myself.” If you know me at all the LAST thing I would do is RELAX. So the next few moves are so “typical Madeline.”
dinner for two- yes please!

I rushed my mom and Tessa into to the car to find me a perfect engagement outfit. Let’s be real- if Mark got me off work and we talked about getting married today was the day. After trying on fifteen dresses my mom Tessa and I agreed on the perfect outfit. I of course book’d an apt. with the salon to get my nails all ready. By 6pm I was pacing the house. Those forty-five minutes were the longest of my life.

Mark picked me up and had my favourite dinner all ready to go when I got to his place. His parents were out for supper so we had the house to ourselves. After eating chicken fettuccini alfredo (all homemade from scratch- my man can cook!) he made raspberry chocolate pudding for dessert. Our conversation during this time was priceless. We both knew we knew but neither one of us wanted to say anything so our dinner conversation was a lot of smiles and casual conversation. After tea Mark told me we were going out somewhere.

fav meal:)
the awesome homemade dessert
yes, he took the plates and treated me like an absolute princess
a day is never complete without tea!
I hate surprises so I wasn’t pleased that we were heading out into the rain and wind but I knew this was “my night” so I was going to enjoy every minute of it! When I stepped out of the car into a mud puddle I was reserved on what we were doing. Our sleigh ride with no snow turned into a horse drawn carriage! It was raining and windy so for most of the ride we were cold and wet but honestly, I didn’t even notice. My heart was so full of joy the entire time.

what the horse walked through

After travelling around for a while the horse turned down a pathway full of lights in the forest. My heart melts with the detail Mark put into this entire evening. He took boat batteries to get electricity out in the middle of the forest and made seven plywood boards describing our love story.

the first board
As the horse walked through the line I got to read each board starting with “I fell for you in 2008.” My heart melted as I tried to take it all in. Goodness, it was a moment I will never forget. I for sure thought that the last board would say “will you marry me”...except it didn’t…..

After such a beautiful moment I was a little stunned that the horse kept riding and that there was no ring. We finished our ride and our driver told us thanks and good-bye. I asked Mark if we had another destination because I was very confused and he told me to walk to the car and grab my camera to take pictures with the horse. Obviously I was upset walking in the mud but had no idea what was going on!

I came back, we took pictures with the horse and then Mark led me into the cabin filled with rose pedals, a fire place (which was so needed!) and candles. He led me in front of the fire where he got down on one knee said the sweetest thing ever (that I totally forget) and asked me to be his wife and marry him! I remember saying yes not once but eight or nine times while jumping up and down. So perfectJ Pictures could never do any of this justice.

After saying “yes” and freaking out Mark and I took a bunch of pictures and went out to see “his helpers” for the evening. Turns out when our horse arrived at the cabin Britt and Scott where still in it trapped so Mark was quick on his feet to tell me to get my camera.

super happy... can't you tell?

Afterwards we had a mini photo shoot in the forest! 

the male helpers!
the ladies..and Mark:)

After we went back to my place to see not only my family and also Mark’sIt was a moment I will cherish forever as our two families merged together as Mark and I told this story.  My mom had cakes made and lots of snacks and we spent the night overjoyed and excited. I didn’t get to sleep until 4am and Mark told me he got me off work for the Sunday too! What lovely man I will marry...again he thought of everything!!

So that’s the story! If you’re still reading congratulations…that’s a lot to get through and I still feel that could go into so much more detail!

We can't thank all of our helpers that made this night my favourite in the entire world. Thank you so much!!
- Chloe 
-Adam B
-Jeff and Gillian
& our parents.

We are getting married in Elmira on December 28 2013 and couldn’t be more thrilled to start life together.

With love,

the future Mrs. Hockley 

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